Thursday, January 08, 2015

Danger in the Darkest Hour

21965307Osborne, Mary Pope. Danger in the Darkest Hour (Magic Tree House Super Edition #1)
January 6th 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers
E ARC from

Jack and Annie find a pigeon sent by Kathleen and Teddy, telling them to travel to Glastonbury, England in 1944. Once there, they find that Kathleen has been sent into France by Winston Churchill, but Teddy is concerned because she isn't back. He has Jack and Annie parachute into Normandy, but they forget to take the Wand of Dianthus, and worry that they won't be able to change things because they don't have any magic. They are taken in by Gaston and Suzette, whose twin sons, Theo and Tom are couriers for the Resistance, and have been picked up by the Nazis. D Day is approaching, and the couple tell Jack and Annie that they should leave, but they are determined to get Kathleen. They follow clues with the help of Tom and Theo's friends, and find Kathleen with a group of Jewish refugee children. In order to get them out of the country, Jack drives them all in a bread truck. Teddy is relieved, and when the two talk to Merlin, he is proud of their ability to handle a sad situation.
Strengths: This is supposedly a longer book with more pictures and information, but that didn't seem to be in this E ARC. It would be nice if the nonfiction companion books were printed WITH the fictional stories, and if that's the case, I may purchase this. I have fond memories of my children reading Magic Treehouse books, and it's hard to believe that even after 22 years, these are going strong. This was a good introduction to the horrors of WWII for younger readers.
Weaknesses: The magical elements always seemed to be a bit jarring in these, but I may not be adjusted to the age range. Struggling readers still enjoy these in middle school, but more mature readers are tired of them by that point.

Fair warning: For various reasons, I have decided to blather a lot more in the coming year. Always about books or library service, of course. This seemed like a good one for today!

7926Heidi Estrin posted this on a Kid Lit Yahoo Group I'm part of, and I couldn't resist. 

Remember All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor, with its mouth-watering descriptions of crackers and the fun of dusting for buttons? Where would YOU have fit into that family of five sisters and a baby brother? Now you can find out!

The Sydney Taylor Book Awards memorialize the author of All-of-a-Kind Family, and the 2015 award winners will be announced this month! In celebration, the Association of Jewish Libraries has teamed up with The Horn Book and Lizzie Skurnick Books to create an entertaining quiz on the popular website Buzzfeed, "Which All-of-a-Kind Family Sibling Are You?" Read about how the quiz came to be at The Horn Book blog, then visit the Sydney Taylor Book Awards online to learn more about the award! Finally, take the quiz to see if you end up as Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, Gertie or Charlie!


And here's the absolutely shocking answer to MY quiz:

  1. You got: Sarah

    There’s no place you’d rather be than the library, except maybe onstage accepting the history prize. Maybe you’ll grow up to write a book about your family history! Sydney Taylor would be proud.

    Courtesy of Lizzie Skurnick Books


  1. Yes, please! I rather hear you blather than just about any other blogger.

  2. PS--turns out that I'm Gertie. The Iron Guy is not afraid of embracing his feminine side!